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Access USB scanner over Ethernet [Full tutorial]

Editorial Team Editorial Team Mar 28, 2023

Why you may need to share a USB device

Nowadays, the most common way to physically connect a peripheral to your PC is through a USB port. Even though a variety of other communication interfaces are in use so far, to have it straight, your mouse, printer, scanner, or any other device is most likely connected to your home computer via a USB port.

Typical scenario: Everyone at some point may need to access one USB device from two PCs. Clearly, having to physically reattach your device from one machine to another is rather troublesome even if those PCs are located in the same prеmіsеs, the more so when they’re wide apart. For instance, your associates may need to access a USB scanner plugged into your machine from their laptops. So is there any way to share a USB scanner over Ethernet? Actually, there’s even more than one!

Sharing your scanner by a specialized app

The most compact software solution to Share a USB over Ethernet is USB Network Gate, otherwise known as USB over Ethernet Software.
UNG logo

USB Network Gate

Share USB over Ethernet on Windows
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Try for Free 14-day trial, You can share only 1 local USB-device
 USB Network Gate

How to share a scanner over Ethernet

It’s rather user-friendly:

Begin with downloading USB Network Gate from its official website.
Install in on every PC that you need to share your device with.
Run the application on the machine that is directly connected to the device you want to share.
Find your device on the list of USB peripherals connected to the PC and click ‘Share‘.
From here on, any machine in your network that has USB Network Gate installed and running will be able to gain remote access to the shared device.

There’s also an option to protect your connection with encryption or compress transmitted data.

On top of that, with USB Network Gate, you can determine the port that’ll have your device connected to.

Pluses and minuses of this method of sharing a scanner over Ethernet:

icon pros Pros

  • Free 14-day trial so you can have a proper test-drive before throwing in any funds;
  • Versions available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android;
  • Perfect for sharing a vast amount of USB peripherals, counting scanners;
  • 24/7 tech support

icon cons Cons

  • Not a shareware;
  • The license isn’t at a cheap rate.

A video guide on how to share scanners over the network with the help of USB Network Gate:

Solution by Windows OS

There’s another way to share a scanner over Ethernet for Windows users - by the use of a specialized system feature.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Make sure that your scanner is connected to a network machine or a modem/router, and all the necessary installation was accomplished.
Launch the Control Panel from the Start menu. Go to ‘Network and Sharing Center’ and click ‘View network computers and devices‘. Once you’ve located your device’s icon, right-click on it and pick ‘Install’. From then on, the device becomes available from other machines in your network.

icon pros Pros

  • It’s rather easy to use

icon cons Cons

  • Only available for Windows 7 and Vista. For any other Windows versions, we recommend using USB Network Gate;
  • No encryption or password protection, so any confidential information on a shared device is accessible to all of your network’s users.

Given all the strengths and weaknesses of either of the two methods, it is clear that USB Network Gate, being a multiplatform application, is the most effective tool for sharing a USB scanner over Ethernet. It allows you to share a USB peripheral with several remote PCs with maximum safety and security.

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USB Network Gate
Share USB over Ethernet on Windows